It’s been a little more than 53 years since former President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the historic Civil Rights Act.
So, how far has America come in reaching the equality that the law set to create? Researchers conclude it’s a mixed bag of progress, but there’s still a ways to go.
What did the Civil Rights Act do?
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination on the basis of race or gender illegal when it comes to hiring and firing.
- It also made the federal government able to desegregate public schools across the country.
What are some of the key takeaways from 50 years of Civil Rights advancements?
Here are some statistics on how the public perceives the advancement of civil rights in the United States:
- Most people in America believe that the passage of the Civil Rights Act was a very significant moment in our history. Only five percent of Americans believe it was not historically important.
- Almost eight out of every 10 Americans believe there has been “real progress” since the 1960s in eliminating discrimination based on race.
- Only five percent of all Americans believe that 100 percent of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s goals for equality have been achieved.
- Most Americans believe that discrimination still exists, and black people are far more likely than white people to believe that racism is “pervasive.”
But where do we really stand?
Aside from general perception, there are some hard realities to look at when it comes to advancement of civil rights:
Black men need more education than white men to have the same chances of being hired for a job as a white man. For example, a black man with an associate’s degree has the same chances as a white man who only finished high school.
- Black and Hispanic children are still disproportionately enrolled in high-poverty schools.
- The black middle class has grown substantially, boosted no doubt by Affirmative Action policies.
- Median income for black families is up to more than $40,000 a year as of 2014. That’s up from $22,000 in 1963.
- In 1964, one in four black people over the age of 25 had finished high school. In 2014, that number was 85 percent.
- Black college graduates have increased from 4 percent to more than 21 percent, but for white people, that number is 34 percent.
As many studies will show, there has been significant advancement in civil rights.
If you or someone you love has been illegally discriminated against because of your race, gender or sexual orientation, you need an experienced civil rights attorney. Contact Jacqui Ford today.